Freshwomen Lesson Eleven: Talking About Art; IELTS; Planning your Podcasts

Nimen Hao,

welcome to lesson nine

Class quiz prize

Tai pianyi prize from the English Department for last week’s quiz winners

Talking about Arts

What kind of art do you like?

Can you describe it, and tell us about any of its artists or artworks?

How, where, and when was it made?

Why do you like it?

Field Trip planning: trip to 789 Arts Zone


Purpose: to visit the arts area and learn about contemporary Chinese and international arts, as well as the 789 Arts District itself (an important modern site for Beijing’s cultural heritage).


  • to view the Art Space, Red Gate 798 and the UCCU multi-artist exhibitions, listening to the audio guides
  • to explore the built area (post-industrial architecture, public artworks);
  • English language discussion with the tutor and tour guide

Contribution to course studies and assessment

  • Fits with the upper intermediate level (IELTS-measure) of student’s spoken word skills
  • Enrich student’s descriptive and conceptual vocabulary and self-expression, developing the spoken word reviewing and reporting and exchange of point of view skills
  • builds upon class using online contemporary Chinese art resources to stimulate and develop students spoken word reviewing skills (tying in with the literature courses developing students’ written English reviewing skills)
  • further develops team work skills (exchanging a point of view, developing agreements, cooperating on an agreed aim) required for this semester’s spoken word assessment. Students will attend in the groups they use for their assessed teamwork.



  • Each class will attend the Arts District in groups of 12 students or less (size limited by gallery requirements).
  • The tour time is 2.5 hours, 2 hours of which is supported by the guide.
  • The two tables overleaf give the options for the schedule. Schedule option 1 gives the schedule on the weekend, where the time replaces that week’s class.
  • Schedule option 2 gives the schedule at the student’s normal class times.

Option 1 is the preferred option because it has less potential for disrupting any other student/class schedules, and also gives them the greatest flexibility.

Transport will be provided by the university’s bus service from Sha He campus to the North Gate[1] of the 798 Arts District and back.

[1] North Gate is on  Jiuxiaoqiao North road, which intersects with Caihong rd., where the tour buses park while waiting.


  • Matt Merefield is the course leader, and he will take responsibility for the field trip, including student’s tours, liaison with the tour guide/gallery managers, student safety and welfare, and transport.
  • Sabrina from Art Space studio will accompany the tour giving information on the art exhibitions and their works (schedule permitting). Sabrina brings her contemporary arts expertise as well as great spoken English communication skills and a youth perspective which will greatly enhance student engagement.
  • Additionally, the class monitors will be asked to assist with arrangements as required.

Costs accruing to the university

  • Bus transport. Six return journeys between BUPT Sha He campus and 798 Arts Zone (approx. 50 mins duration)
  • Tour guidance for six groups

Costs accruing to the students

  • UCCU exhibition tickets (at student discounted prices). Note, other exhibitions to be visited are free.
  • Students can bring lunch to eat on the bus or at the Arts district. For the weekend schedule tour, students may purchase lunch at their own cost. There are many cafés, several of which are adjacent to the UCCU building.

Exhibitions to be viewed

Art Space

Dong Hao, traditional Chinese ink paintings


Civilization, the way we live Now; Society Guidance

Red Gate 798

New contemporary oil paintings

Listening and comprehension: a disagreement

Let’s listen to a recording (I’ll play it twice).

Note, sometimes in spoken words tests (for example, IELTS), you will be asked to talk about things that are unfamiliar (for example, they might be common in America or England but not here).

And sometimes the questions will just seem strange (they might be something you wouldn’t normally think about or seem to show an unusual way of thinking).

But you will still need to talk about them (for assessment.) The following exercise might seem a bit like that (it is from an advanced level IELTS style book).




Look at the 6 statements above and discuss

  Podcasts due on or before June 14

Aim: to produce a podcast report or review in your teams

Assessment basis: the podcast should be interesting, demonstrate strong critical thinking and be information

English expression: It should be well-expressed. with an appropriately rich vocabulary (it doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect, but if there are so many errors that it distracts from your communication then you will lose marks)

Style/tone: it may be serious, lighthearted or even funny. Any style or tone is fine, but you will be judged on how well the the style works.

Individual contributions to the team: Each team member will be judge on her/his contribution. Each person should speak between 3-6 minutes (over the whole of the podcast)

Formats and submitting:

MP4 or similar audio files will be fine for audio. Any common video format should be fine too (I will ask for your help if there are any playback/recording issues)

  • Submit to me via wechat by or before June8
  • include the transcript (as a word doc) with the speakers’ names/initials at the beginning of their sentences, like

MM: Blah de blah blah, de blah de blah blah

LJ: What?

MM: Because blah equals blah therefore blah times blah is blah de blah blah.

Don’t forget to put a note showing who the initials belong to: like mm = matt merefield and LJ = Lu Jian

Work on your podcast planning

OK, please work on your planning for your podcasts.

You should have your topics and now plan how you are going to do the podcast.

  • Work on a draft script, or notes for a script
  • Plan how and when you will do you the field work (if you have any)
  • plan how you will gather or begin gathering your resources if they are online resources.
  • Work out which of you will do which parts of your tasks including the speaking
  • practice your dialogues together (today you might like to work on a particular section, like an introduction).



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